Now let’s get down to it. My opinions vary a little from most of the early retirement financial bloggers on the internet. Mostly because I was brought up without any entertainment besides my creativity and Legos to build those dreams. I want those dreams to become realities sooner than when I’m 40-45 years old. So I’m willing to spend (some) money as long as the experience outweighs the monetary hit. Why risk something happening to me in the near future, and then be unable to do those things later in my life because of injury or more important life issues?
Do the things you want to do while you are young and do not wait until you are unable to do so. This does not include drinking yourself into a stupor every night, as that would be a waste of brain cells and destroy your future. I’m talking experiences. Go to the places that you see on the internet and have that memory for yourself. Earn a culinary certificate in cooking flan. Learn a language by teaching English in a foreign country. Open a web store for selling kitten mittens.
Yes, you want to enjoy life in retirement as early as possible, but you also want to ensure that life doesn’t drag you down into a pit of depression as you watch others enjoy life. Be aware though that as of 2010 according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 60% of students have to take loans out to cover their costs. Therefore, half the youths you see in the bar have outstanding loans, and this doesn’t even include the attention seekers that have amassed credit card debt. It doesn’t even have to be the younger generation though as I work with someone that still has student loans well into his 30s. I DON’T WANT TO BE HIM. That’s why I don’t buy J. Crew clothing like him when there are plenty of Marshalls in the area.
So here is my basic mantra: Save money by passing up the small pleasures so that you can do something that makes life worthwhile. Do not eat lunch every day at work, this costs about $10.00 around DC, if not more. Even eating out just once a week would save you over $1300 dollars a year taking into account vacation days (10) and subtracting the cost of $3.00 to make your own. Instead, cook on Sunday, enough for the week, and put frozen vegetables in your Tupperware every morning. Another huge thing people “need” is their cable. Obviously, more and more people are choosing to go without it, but to reiterate that fact, it just isn’t necessary these days with Netflix and Hulu+ available. Plus the wealth of content on YouTube.
Over the lifetime of this blog I’ll be posting my opinions, ways to save, and potential solutions to any problems life may throw at someone.
These ideas are mine now, but the inspiration for these goals came from others, just like I hope others get their ideas from me. Below are some of the internet’s best; and my favorites in terms of life planning/change and financial help:
20s Finances: Just another guy like me who left college and doesn’t make too much money. He’s trying to help others while building on himself.
20 Something Finances: Amazing story, this one. He had no savings and huge debt after graduation. He preaches financial independence and gives great advice on how to get there.
Making Sense of Cents: This girl is crazy good at making extra money on the side. If your goal is to constantly build a personal money making empire, try to mimic what she does. Or even better follow your own path to building that cash pot.
Mr. Money Mustache: I love this guy. Not only does he have a “bad ass” writing style and refuses to sell out, but he gives great financial and life advice as well as having a great community of people that comment.
My University Money: Two guys that teamed up to write about their life before and after college. As well as ideas to save money. Occasionally, their posts hit real close to home for me.
The Simple Dollar: Seemingly a good financial role model and father based on his posting. Also has a pretty good grasp of his finances. So much great advice about all things can be garnered from him.
Tim Ferriss’ Blog: The everything man Tim Ferriss writes books that begin with “Four Hour”. They hold advice (some controversial), but not necessarily truths. He experiments on himself in health related issues. Financially, his first book gives a pretty good, but maybe a little outdated, idea of what financial freedom is.